tv [untitled] March 8, 2011 10:00am-10:30am PST
commissioner campos: good morning and welcome to the february 8, 2011 meeting of the san francisco county transportation authority plans and programs committee. my name is david campos, the chair of the committee. i am joined by committee vice chair commissioner carmen chu as well as committee member scott wiener. commissioners john avalos, david chiu are in route.
the clerk of the committee is erica chang. covering the meeting for sfgtv r charles and mark. please call item 2. >> item 2. approve the minutes of the january 11, 2011 meeting. this is an action item. commissioner campos: colleagues, we have the meeting before you. any comments or changes to the minute meetings? is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. can we have a motion on that item? motion by commissioner wiener, seconded by commissioner chu. we can take that without objection. we have been joined by commissioner david chiu. madam court, please call item 3. >> item 3. citizens advisory committee report. this is an information item. commissioner campos: we have glenn davis of the citizens
advisory committee reporting to us. >> good morning, commissioners. two action items on your agenda this morning that appeared on our agenda. those are items 6 and item seven. both items were passed unanimously at the committee level. regarding item 6, discussion centered around what measures are used to decide where curb bulb out to go, and where they are most needed. the discussion centered around the risk management plan and also with the altered political climate in the nation's capital, how that would affect the progress. it was a brief meeting those are the items before you today. i can take any questions. commissioner campos: any
questions of the citizens advisory committee? no questions, thank you very much. is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. this is an informational item. madam court, please call item four. >> item 4. recommend appointment of two members to the citizens advisory committee. this is an action item. commissioner campos: good morning. >> good morning, mr. chair, committee members. we have two recommendations for appointments for the citizens advisory committee for you today. the authority has 11 member citizen indicted three committees. each member serves a two-year term. the plans and programs committee recommends and the committee appoints members. existing members, nor staff make recommendations for appointment.
we also have to the administrative code rules that can include representatives of various communities, including labor, business, disabled community, various neighborhoods. a priority has been made by this board to have representation from each to purgatorial district. to qualify, a person must be a san francisco resident and must speak once before the committee on their interest to serve on the committee. as i said, we have two vacancies. the first is the term expiration of wendy tran from district 3. she is here to see reply to the committee. second is the resignation of jul lynn parson from district 6. she were elected outside of san
francisco. we are currently working with commissioner kim's office to find another person to a point. for your information, on page 27 of your packet, a list of existing committee members and their affiliations. with that, i can take any questions. commissioner campos: colleague, any questions? why don't we hear from ms tr. t. >> good morning, commissioners. wendy tran. i am here today seeking reappointment as a member of the citizens advisory committee. in the last three terms i have gained a lot of knowledge about the public transit system. i am excited about the deal drive project. i look forward to hearing more about ideas about that. -- doyle drive project.
i hope that you can applaud me for another term. commissioner campos: questions or comments? is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner david chiu. commissioner chiu: thank you. with regard to the plug in my district, i would be happy to reappoint wendy tran. before becoming a member of the cac, she was involved in a variety of different constituencies, in particular, regarding chinese communities. she has kept many of us informed about the work they're doing. she is also someone that i run into on muni from time to time, so she is definitely riding the ride. commissioner campos: we have a motion from david chiu.
seconded by commissioner avalos. can we take that without objection? thank you. congratulations and thank you for your service. with respect to the district 6 representative, we will see that item at a future meeting. please call item five. >> item 5. report by the san francisco municipal transportation agency on 14-mission switchbacks and the potential extension of the 14-mission muni line to the daly city bart station. this is an information item. commissioner campos: do we have a report from staff? commissioner avalos. commissioner avalos: colleagues, this is an item that i called for. in the past couple of years, i have been in discussion with the mta to extend the 14 line all the way through the daly city bart and using that as a mode where transportation for people who are on the southern side of
geneva. if those folks wanted to take of 14 and transfer at geneva to balboa park, that process can take a number of minutes, potentially 45 minutes. add that to your train ride downtown, and it is about one hour. if we were to extend the 49 to daly city bart, we could make a better connection for people going straight to the bart station and then downtown, reducing the time to about 25 minutes. with the changes being presented by the mta, particularly in the park merced, the m line, this could turn out to be a much larger transit hub then and is currently. it would make sense to provide this service who are more on the southern part of san francisco,
who i represent. i appreciate the work that the mta has done so far on this, transportation authority, jose moscovich is here to speak about it. i know there is a long way to go, but we had a commitment from mta last year that this would be something they would do. jose moscovich? >> we have a presentation from mta today. john haley is in charge of operations. perhaps he could speak about the issue of switchbacks. i would invite mr. haley to the podium. commissioner avalos: a key part of looking at the 14th line is how often these switchbacks happen. certainly, there is an issue that we have heard already, in city operations, our light rail
vehicles, switchbacks happen the further you get away from the core downtown. this does happen on the 14 line. i understand the reality of managing these lines in the most congested part of the cities and impacts to people in my district are there. but also knowing that we are going to look at the extension of a 14 line, we want to be able to tackle this switch back issue. mr. haley, thank you for being here. >> thank you, supervisor avalos. mr. chairman, if i may, i prepared a brief overview of the issue on the 14 line, and i will address switchbacks. i will go through this for the quickly. it is not my intention to read
this, but as all of you know, the 14 mission line is one of our busiest come the third busiest in our corridor. 110,000 trips a year on the line. long line in terms of length of service, about 8 miles long. the average speed is just below what the system averages, just under 70 miles an hour -- 7 miles per hour. despite the difference in service, it is operated with polboth trackless and motor. in is a line rich with ridership and service, and also, we manage it aggressively to
stay on time. some of the characteristics for us, challenges to the mission line, congestion along the corridor, double parking, those sorts of things. the other thing affecting the time, because of the ridership, we use 60-foot motor coaches, trackless. those are the oldest part of our fleet, the least reliable. with the help of the board of supervisors, one of the things we are doing -- and we are in the middle -- is a program to rebuild some systems and components on those vehicles. the reliability of that fleet is a challenge. so with that, sthose are some of the things we focus on a day-to-
day basis. the next thing is just to show you the support from ridership. there are various locations which are really important. what are we doing right now to manage service and keep it on time as best we can? with the amount of the locals, expresses on this line, we want to make sure that we are consistent, that people are waiting and even the amount of time in between the vehicles. we try to keep the interpol's balanced -- intervals balanced. some of the tactics used, and this goes to the discussion on switchbacks. one thing that we do on the 14 mission is we trade operators.
if someone is more than 15 minutes late, we send the operator on to another vehicle so that it can go on time in the other direction. that is one thing we do. another thing we do on the 14 mission is we monitor misruns. part of this managing consistency is the time between the intervals. but, for example, we may have some light cars coming in. we send them back out into the mission. we make sure that we can bill as much of the work as possible. systemwide, we put out between 1112 hundred runs a day. typically, -- we tried to take
these other actions to mitigate. finally, the topic of switchbacks. we do do switchbacks. with a trolley line, obviously, it requires infrastructure to make a switch back. this is a listing of locations where we have the infrastructure that allows us to use this technique, if necessary, from a service management standpoint. one of the things we talked about, under what conditions, how do you switch back? our policy is on the trackless side, but very much the same on the rail side, we give notifications as soon as possible, we make an adjustment.
we have to make sure a vehicle is no more than five minutes behind. in this case, we have to watch our vehicles closely because we want to make sure that the vehicle behind it can accommodate the people that are being switched back. in terms of the 14 mission, -- and one of the things that i have tried to do in this issue -- you made a request about going back on the rail side. there is not much historic data available. much of the information was handwritten. we went through some of the material that i could find, but at this point, with the changes we have made over the last several months, i am in a position to identify on a light rail side, when we can make switchbacks, when we can address the issue. you have addressed the condition of which packs.
are we making announcements? those kinds of things. in january, on the mission, we made 137 switchbacks, more of them in the outbound direction. february, so far, 34. the path, to a great extent, would look like the pattern on the light rail lines, following the same principles and procedures. in this particular case, we make sure we try to, where possible, follow the policy we have laid out and make sure we enforce it. commissioner campos: commissioner carmen chu. commissioner chu: the switch back data, is that for a particular line or overall? >> this is just in january before the 14 mission. if i may, since you asked, there
were 203 switchbacks in january on the light rail lines. as soon as the letter is signed off, i will be sending you a report on one of the things that we committed to do in the package that we forwarded to you. a report of switchbacks by line, where they occurred, the time, and whether or not there was a vehicle within five minutes behind that to accommodate passengers who were being switched back. january is done and i will be forwarding it to you this week. >> and that is -- commissioner campos: that is for all the light rail lines? >> yes, correct. the distribution is in the
letter, as i recall, the n line and j line that had the most switchbacks in january. i am pleased to say, having met the conditions in the policy, we were able to pull that pretty thoroughly, in terms of having a vehicle right behind it, certainly within five minutes. i will again frame that in the letter. in response to a question on the mission, the number of switchbacks, this is the mission line only. commissioner campos: commissioner wiener? commisioner wiener: first of all, i wanted to thank commissioner avalos and commissioner chu for requesting this information. it really does impact people's commute in a significant way.
my question is, typically, how soon before a switch back occurs does muni decide to switch back? is there a typical time parameter? is it, we decide and two minutes later, do we know ahead of time? >> i can only give you a firm it depends. the conditions are such, where if we have a significant delay -- 15 minutes approximately on the rail side. it is a combination of the line management center, which has a view of the entire system.
the control center speaks to the operators and st. inspectors who actually supports the switch back on the straight -- street. we tried to give people notice as soon as possible when there is a gap. from our perspective, it should be soon and frequent, in terms of letting people know, both in terms of making announcements and resetting the destination sign. that is our practice, our policy. commisioner wiener: i asked only because people may not understand why switchbacks are necessary. for a lot of people -- and this is an issue that we see in a lot of areas with muni. what frustrates people the most, lack of information, a delay in
information. people understand and operational issues, stuff happens, but there is a general feeling that information is not provided in a timely way. i asked the question of how long in invents it is known. if there is information where muni knows well in advance that there will be a need for a switch back, alerting people before they get on, perhaps having proper sign it on the train or buses so that people know that this is going to stop at this place. it is a lot less frustrating for people to know that they need to wait for the next one as opposed to getting on and having the operator say, you have to get off, and not knowing what is happening. >> i agree. that is one area where you have
helped us a great deal, you as a group, bringing this to our attention. i am much more confident on the light rail side right now. in addition to restating our policy, we have new technology, and now we are able to monitor better. we were able to get all of our cited in sync so that the cited on board matches that signed at the platform. if you decide to switch to an outbound train that is leaving, let's say, embarcadero, we should be able to tell people consistently throughout the trip that we are short-turning a train at 8 particular destination. commisioner wiener: i am
frequently on the k, l, or m. i do not recall seeing any notification or silage. it does not affect me personally, but i would like to hear that it is turning around above ground. if that is something that is feasible -- i do not know that it is -- i do not believe it is happening, from my perspective. >> i will be happy to check. commissioner campos: commissioner avalos? commissioner avalos: anticipation about switchbacks occurring -- i wonder if a driver has that anticipation as well. generally, does a driver get an
order to do a switch back at a moment's notice? how does that occur when you are out there on the 14th line? i hear passengers getting frustrated when a driver has suddenly said that they need to get off. it seems the driver is equally frustrated. perhaps not always the best bedside manner, but there is certainly frustration as well about how quickly they have had to turn around. >> i want to make sure i answer your question. if you are asking me if it is possible for an operator to make a switch back on their own -- commissioner avalos: maybe that is a second part of the question, but how much anticipation does an operator had to make a switch back? are they going along one minute
and the next moment they are trying to initiate a switch back? how much anticipation do they have that it is going to occur? >> an operator can have very short notice that we are switching to a switch back. that is why communications, internally and externally are so important. once a decision is made, as a result of looking at our own policies and cleaning it up, we are making sure that inspectors effectively communicate the information, speak directly to the operator. in many cases, they go to the actual location and support the operator, make sure the conditions we have identified are met.
similarly, on the mission, you can still have little notice. depends on the situation. whether there is a delay caused by an accident, the blockage of a vehicle that fails. we have to adjust quickly. that is why -- having the technology that we introduced six months ago -- it gives us the opportunity to see the whole system. for example, on the 14 mission, if there was a vehicle that was not where it was supposed to be an attempted to switch back at a time when the line management center was staffed, principally, during rush hour, that would show up on the screen so that the inspector would be able to see that color change immediately and see what is
going on. operators are required to adapt a fairly quickly at times. they do not always have a lot of notice. commissioner avalos: i know you have other parts of your presentation to go through. commissioner campos: before you do that, and perhaps this is a dumb question. what is the definition of a switch back? for people that are watching and do not have a sense of what we are talking about. maybe you could also get to this in your presentation. what is the switch back rate at this line relative to others in the system? >> let me try to address both of those points. i guess i assumed incorrectly that everybody understood.